Relaxation is the next ingredient in our healthy, happy life recipe.
Our bodies respond to stress in predictable ways – the fight or flight response. When the stress is gone the body automatically returns to a balanced, resting state. However for some people who experience prolonged stress, the body does not fully return to this balanced state. Instead, the fight or flight response continues to work “overtime” which can result in negative consequences to their health.
Relaxation helps to quieten the body’s response to stress. It can prevent some of the “wear and tear” that comes from prolonged fight-or-flight reactions. Unfortunately the relaxation response is not automatic. It’s a skill that needs to be learned and practiced.
Next time we’ll look at some of the ways we can go about this.